Albanian-born British composer Thomas Simaku studied composition at the Tirana Conservatoire (1978-82) and the University of York (1991-96) where he was awarded a PhD in Composition, studying with David Blake. Winner of the coveted Lionel Robbins Memorial Scholarship in 1993, he also was the 1996 Leonard Bernstein Fellow in Composition at Tanglewood Music Centre in the USA studying with Bernard Rands, and a fellow at the Composers’ Workshop, California State University, with Brian Ferneyhough.

Simaku's music has been reaching audiences all over Europe and the USA for two decades, and it has been awarded a host of accolades for its highly expressive qualities and its unique blend of drama, intensity and modernism; performers have included the Kreutzer Quartet, Diotima Quatuor, Arditti Quartet, European Union Chamber Orchestra and MusikFabrik among many others.

Winner of a number of prestigious awards including the Serocki International Prize and the Lutoslawski Award, a British Composer Award in 2009, and fellowships from the AHRC, Leverhulme Trust and  DAAD, Simaku is a Reader in Music at the University of York.